With many rental places offering stump grinders for lease, grinding your own tree stumps is a pretty obtainable task. But you will probably have a few questions the first time you grab that grinder. Here are some common stump grinding questions along with their answers.
What safety precautions do you need to take?
The main hazard when using a stump grinder is actually the debris that can start flying as the grinder works. Most grinders — especially those available for rent — have a solid cage around them to protect you from the grinding mechanism itself. To protect yourself from flying debris, you just need to dress appropriately. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes. Always wear goggles to protect your eyes, and consider putting a hat on in case any splinters end up flying towards your head.
How do you get the grinder to grind evenly?
Grinders work unevenly when you try to grind off too much at a time. If you feel like the grinder is cutting unevenly or is bouncing off the stump, then you need to turn it off and reposition it. Place it so that the grinding wheel is just below the top of the stump — you don't want it more than an inch below. Grind the stump down until the wheel stops making contact. Then, reposition it again.
What do you do about exposed roots?
If there are any exposed tree roots associated with the stump, you can grind them down the same way as the stump. You won't usually be able to get too much of the root where it starts stretching below ground, but that's okay. Just grinding away the exposed part allows you to cover the rest in new soil so it can start breaking down naturally. If you remove the exposed part, you'll be removing the tripping hazards.
Are there stumps you shouldn't attempt to grind on your own?
Yes. If a stump is really close to a building, then you are better off hiring a professional to come to remove it. Your lack of experience with stump grinding makes you more likely to hit and dent the building with the equipment. Professionals know how to avoid this. You are also better off hiring a specialist to take care of any stumps on steep hills, as it can be tough to control a grinder on the hillside.
Now that you know a little more about grinding tree stumps, you're ready to rent a grinder and get going. To learn more or to have a professional help you, contact a company like Tree Landers.